50 ideas for celebrating the 50 days of Easter

April 22, 2009

This is a must-read and bookmark resource for those wanting to truly celebrate the entire 50 day season of Easter:  Celebrate Easter’s 50 Days.  [Note: there are also some Pentecost celebration ideas included in the list of 50 ideas.]  It is very family-focused and perhaps the best such list I have seen.

Here are some of my favorites:

6. Add an “alleluia” song—or three alleluias—to your grace before meals.

8. Make a poster of a life-giving cross. Add paper flowers and leaves to it throughout Easter.  [Karen suggests: maybe each day add something you are thankful for about the cross, some sin that the Lord has conquered in your life, or some promise God has given that we know is sealed and true because of Christ's resurrection.]

10. Keep fresh flowers around.

13. Talk about baptism. Tell stories of family members’ baptisms.

28. If your family likes to sing and play instruments, have people over for a musical Easter celebration.

Thanks to Amy at Splendour of the Ordinary for the link!


Easter around the blogosphere: Celebrating the Easter Season and Being Transformed

April 22, 2009

As I’ve written about several times, I’ve been glad to find a number of other bloggers who have a strong desire to celebrate the full 50 days of Easter this year.  Here is a round up of links to and excerpts from a few blog entries I’ve found helpful and encouraging over the past 10 days.  A few links are repeats (last week I posted a few links but included no excerpts).  Let me know in the comments if any of you readers have found helpful ideas and encouragement to help you celebrate all 50 days of Easter.  — Karen

***

1. Christine Sine, at Godspace, has two relevant and challenging posts:

What have we done with Jesus?

Easter Sunday is over.  Jesus is risen but what have we done about it?  How have our lives changed because of the life giving presence of Christ?  How many of us are still sitting at the empty tomb with Mary weeping because we are worried about what has happened to the dead body rather than focusing on how to encounter the risen Christ in our lives?  Or perhaps like Peter we have gone back to our pre Christ encounter jobs totally unchanged by all that Jesus has said and done.  …

If we really believed that Christ’s resurrection meant that the world was changed and that his resurrection life now flows in us too surely we would live very differently.  We would live by the law of God’s love

Also, there is Christine’s Christ is Risen – Let’s Celebrate! which I’ve linked previously, and her Easter Season Guide.

***

2.  Tara, at the Story-Formed blog, has a beautiful illustrated post Doors (which includes one of the prayers we’ve posted here at L&B, but also a great Easter poem written by Steve Taylor at EmergentKiwi about Christ “the Door-Kicker”).

Tara also has a MUST-READ blog entry: “Practice Resurrection”, where she writes (emphasis is mine)

I was challenged and encouraged by a post by Splendor in the Ordinary about Wendell Berry’s poem that ends with the words “Practice resurrection”.  I like those words – practice resurrection.  It reminds me I don’t have to have it all together or do something so spectacular, but I just need to practice…everyday.  In her post, Amy shared a list of things that a group of students came up with to “practice resurrection” during these 50 days of Easter.  I came up with my own list at the bottom of this post, and I wonder what it would be like if all serious followers of Jesus came up with a specific list of “practices” for the next 50 days and set about doing them.

As we practice resurrection, would those around us sit and enjoy the cascading actions?  Would they see the beauty of God’s story?  Would they feel “spring” in their lives and taste the sweetness of new life?  It seems to me that, like my cherry blossom petals, these resurrection practices are small graces.  They swirl and dance wherever the current of the wind takes them.  Alone, the small choices we make as individuals to practice resurrection may seem insignificant, but altogether?  Well that is a different story.  Because all together, as Easter people choosing to practice resurrection, our choices just might blanket the world.

So…I don’t think I am going to sweep the petals off my deck any time soon.  I am going to let them linger; I am going to run my toes through them; I am going to bask in their beauty; And I am going to let them whisper their Easter song:  “Practice Resurrection”!!

***

Just after Easter,  Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary encouraged her readers to Practice Resurrection (It was Amy who inspired Tara’s post at Story-Formed quoted above.)  She then followed up that post with a post on gardening: Gathering Fruit in which she wrote something that has profoundly shaped my thinking as to what this Easter season should be about for me:

Now that Easter season is here it is good to enjoy the fruits of the labor of Lent. Not that prayer and penitence end but I have found that the seasons of the church year are much like the season in nature: there are necessary times of dormancy and husbandry which bear forth into growth and harvest.

Rather than the more sober Lenten practices seeking God, we’ve been spending time enjoying the blessings of His earth, gathering in the fruits of discipline and husbandry.

I need to spend time these next weeks in actively choosing to gather together the truths the Lord has been wanting me to learn during Lent.  I sense there’s a lot the Lord’s been trying to teach me that I haven’t really grabbed a hold of, that there’s fruit the Lord wants me to be enjoying but that it’s still hidden – I’ve not been looking for it.   In what ways is the Lord challenging others of you to “gather the fruits” of your Lenten disciplines?

Finally, on Monday, Amy wrote a third follow up post “More on Celebrating Easter Season.”   She talked about how her church congregation renewed their baptismal vows and wrote:

In light of thoughts on Easter, I was struck by the relation of baptism and Jesus’ Resurrection:

Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and for ever. Amen. (BCP 1979)

How am I, as a baptized believer, living in the power of the resurrection each day?

(Emphasis mine.) That is indeed the Easter question for each of us!

Amy also included a link to a great resource to help us Celebrate Easter’s 50 Days, which I’ll be posting as a stand-alone blog entry.  Make sure you check it out.  It’s got some really good ideas.

***

May the Lord help each of us to keep encouraging one another to live in the truth and joy of Christ’s resurrection during these 50 days.

Hmmmm… Maybe we should write a new hymn based on that Lenten standby Lord, who throughout these 40 days :

Lord, who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins
And close by Thee to stay. …

What would we write for an Easter Hymn:  Lord throughout these FIFTY days?  What did the Lord accomplish in his post-resurrection appearances during those weeks?  What is He wanting us to learn from this 50 day season between Easter Sunday and Pentecost?

(posted by Karen B.)


Anglican Consultative Council

April 22, 2009

O Father,

In Your light we see light. Your Son Jesus is the source of living water–water that washes away our transgressions and bears our griefs and sorrows.

We lift up the participants in the Anglican Consultative Council–
Rowan, John, George, Anthony, Turi, Andrew, Robert, Sarah, Sunil, Joanildo, Martin, Stephen, Susan, Suzanne, James, Daniel, Maria, Kahwa, Joyce, Michael, Elizabeth, Rose, Peter, Razafindralambo, Michel, Kate, Maurice, Lawrence, Azad, Samson, Amos, Abraham, Merilyn, Sarai, San, Abraham, Abraham, Ashish, Vincent, Humphrey, Shahid, Floyd, Josias, Jane, John, Dato, John, Moses, J. M., Thabo, Janet, Ezekiel, Enock, Gerard, Mwita, Judith, Jolly, Catherine, Ian, Josephine, Christopher, Helen, Barton, Cornell, Kumara, Michael, George, Sarah, Maria, Carlos, Phillip, Mouneer, Katherine, Bill, and Barry. 
May they seek Your face in humility, confessing their sins.  May they honor You in their daily decisions leading up to the ACC meeting and throughout the meeting.  May living water flow through their hearts, refracting Your holy light, like droplets in a rainbow. May our church be healed.  Amen.

 


A Wonderful Daily Prayer for the Easter Season

April 22, 2009

I fear I’m overwhelming the blog with posts today, but I have such a big backlog of Easter stuff I’ve been wanting to post and busyness and bad internet connections have hindered my blogging.  I’ve alread posted Easter entries for the next 10 days(!) but I don’t want to wait another week for the following prayer to appear.

It is a GREAT PRAYER I am going to start praying daily from now until Pentecost to remind me of what living Easter is all about.  My thanks to Christine at Godspace for posting it.

***

May we go into the day to share the love of the risen Christ

May the light of God shine on us

May the light of Christ shine in us

May the light of the Spirit shine through us

Jesus Christ is risen and has given us new life

Thanks be to God, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Amen & Amen!


Anglican Communion Office

April 22, 2009

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “ John 17 :24

Father,

You are a God who reveals mysteries.  We want the members of the ACO Secretariat

Kenneth, Christine, Yoshimi, Phil, Terrie, Andrew, Dorothy, Clara, Lynne, Gill, David, Ian, Ann, John, Stuart, Neil, Hellen, Michael, Suminder, Clare, and Cynthia

to be with You and see Your glory, the glory You gave Jesus because You loved Him before the creation of the world.  Amen.


An Easter Prayer: dying daily to sin that we may live in the joy of Christ’s resurrection

April 22, 2009

O God,
who for our redemption
gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of our enemy:

Grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Lots of interesting background, including Cranmer’s original text for this prayer here.


Easter Quotes: Fr. Stephen Freeman – Living on “Pascha Time”

April 22, 2009

Orthodox priest and blogger Fr. Stephen Freeman has a beautiful reflection on what it means to live on “Pascha time” on his blog.

He talks about the rigorous service schedule of the Orthodox church during Holy Week and how it disrupts his sleep patterns, and then goes on to write:

For some days to come, I am sure that my internal clock will operate on “Pascha time.” I only hope and pray that the rest of me will remain forever set to that event – that might life become a Pascha for everyone around me. St. Seraphim of Sarov, regardless of the time of year, greated everyone with, “Christ is risen!” For those who met him – they met Pascha in the form of humbled, bent-over Russian staretz. May Pascha greet you in a hundred ways today and may others who meet you encounter Pascha as well.

Christ is risen!

Go read it all!

What would it mean if our lives were “forever set” to Easter, if we were always living on “Pascha time”? Reading this, I was reminded of a poster I had in my bedroom as a teenager, it was of a beautiful waterfall and forest glade with a cloud of butterflies filling the sky. The quote on the poster was “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!” May we find much to exclaim “Alleluia!” about today and may we be eager to look for how Christ’s resurrection is changing our life and our world!

Listen: Sing Alleluia (Jennifer Knapp & Mac Powell, from City on a Hill – Sing Alleluia, 2002) (I don’t think it’s available at iTunes, unfortunately, this is from my personal collection).


John 17:20-26

April 22, 2009

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word;” (John 17:20)
      Jesus, we believe because of the faithful witness of those who shared the gospel with us; help us share the gospel with others who do not yet know you.

“that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21)
      Holy Spirit, please help all of us throughout this diocese enter into the life that Jesus shares with his father and live out their unity to that the world may believe.

“And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one:” (John 17:22)
      Father, please help us joyfully receive the glory that comes from being one in you.

“I in them, and you in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)
      Jesus, please help us receive your love today.

“Father, I desire that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given me; for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
      Holy Spirit, help us find our glory in Jesus’ cross.

“O righteous Father! The world has not known you, but I have known you; and these have known that you sent me.” (John 17:25)
      Father, thank you for sending Jesus to us.

“And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)
      Jesus, please help us receive your love.

      A word received: I AM never offended by your cries to me. I AM a father who longs to hear the voice of his children. I AM a father who longs to hold my children in my arms and comfort them. I AM a father and my arms are open wide to receive you.

Wednesday: 119:1-24; Daniel 2:17-30; 1 John 2:12-17; John 17:20-26
Thursday: 18:1-20; Daniel 2:31-49; 1 John 2:18-29; Luke 3:1-14

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Pray the Diocesan Convention that we will find our unity in Jesus.

Albany Intercessor


Anglican Consultative Council

April 22, 2009

Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.   Psalm 119:130 MSG

Yes, Lord, break open Your words over every member of the Anglican Consultative Council.  May they lean on You in absolute confidence in Your power, wisdom, and goodness.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31-32 NLT

Yes, Lord, break open Your teachings over every member of the Anglican Consultative Council.  May they know the truth in Christ and be freed from strongholds of false thinking.

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.  Daniel 11:32 KJV

Break open understanding over every member of the Anglican Consultative Council.  May they be courageously loyal to You and stand firm.  Amen.


Anglican Consultative Council menu

April 22, 2009

All ACC Category entries.
More links & resources below– Read the rest of this entry »


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